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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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MCALEECE, Gerald "Red"

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Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald
MCALEECE, Gerald "Red." (Dubuque, IA--Kenora, Canada, Sept. 14,1984). Coach and RADIO sports director. McAleece was the sports director at KDTH from 1942 to 1979. Beginning in 1946 he established and broadcast the popular "Trading Post" over which he advertised an estimated three hundred thousand items.

McAleece graduated from Dubuque High School. He played on the varsity football, basketball, and baseball teams. He had been a star baseball pitcher at the UNIVERSITY OF DUBUQUE and Northwestern University. Upon graduation, he organized many area baseball tournaments including a very successful one played during Dubuque's centennial in 1933.

Prior to his radio career, McAleece taught. He was employed in 1931 by the DUBUQUE COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT as a teacher of physical education and health at WASHINGTON JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL. He remained there four year before being transferred to DUBUQUE SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL as an instructor of commercial subjects. During this time he coached and played with the Blackhawks independent basketball team. He was also a coach for the Koolmotors baseball team. At Dubuque Senior, McAleece began as the head coach of the sophomore basketball team. He served as head basketball coach at DUBUQUE SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL from 1936 to 1942 and founded the Dubuque public schools' first physical education program.

Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
One of three people inducted by 1985 in the Iowa Sportscaster Association Hall of Fame, McAleece helped pioneer live sports coverage. In the days before elaborate press facilities, he often stood on a concession stand or automobile for a better view of the playing field. McAleece continued play-by-play broadcasts of football games of the Iowa Hawkeyes until he was seventy and sold radio advertising until he was seventy-three.

McAleece received many forms of recognition. In 1963 he was awarded the Man Behind the Boy trophy from the DUBUQUE BOYS' CLUB and the Outstanding Citizen Award from the Dubuque Board of Realtors. He received the second Conservationist of the Year Award from the Dubuque County Conservation Society two years later. In 1971 McAleece was the recipient of the "Moco" Mercer Award from the JAYCEES. This was followed the next year when the city named MCALEECE SPORTS COMPLEX in his honor.

In 1972 McAleece was named recipient of the FIRST CITIZEN AWARD and he received the Service to Mankind Award from the Sertoma Club. In 1959 and 1974 McAleece was named Conservationist of the Year by the Dubuque County Conservation Society. He was elected to the Sportscasters' Hall of Fame in 1975 and the DUBUQUE SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME in 1976.